(Photo: Jim Rassol/Sun Sentinel/Getty Images)
USA Today is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers’ held a private workout yesterday with numerous free agents. The list of free agent invitees included Michael Beasley, who had a workout with the Lakers in late July, Toney Douglas, Dexter Pittman, Daniel Orton, Greg Stiemsma, Malcolm Lee, Ben Hansbrough and Bobby Brown.
The Lakers roster currently stands at 13 which is 2 short of the NBA maximum. The Lakers also have a few training camp invites that will compete for one of the remaining roster spots: forward Roscoe Smith and point guard Keith Appling.
The Lakers biggest need in terms of depth is at small forward and point guard. Wesley Johnson and Nick Young are the only true small forwards on the roster, but players like Kobe Bryant, Xavier Henry, Ryan Kelly and rookie Julius Randle can all fill in at the position if needed. The Lakers currently have Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash penciled in as their 2 main point guards, but should look to add depth considering Nash’s inability to stay healthy in recent years and that the only other point guard is an unproven rookie who the Lakers just drafted in the 2nd round (Jordan Clarkson.)
Out of the free agent pool that worked out yesterday, Beasley is the most accomplished. The former number 2 overall pick is still only 25 years old and has career scoring average of 13.2 points which is higher than every Lakers player on the current roster outside of Kobe Bryant, Carlos Boozer and Steve Nash. Beasley also has averaged 4.9 rebounds per game in his career and shot a respectable 45 percent from the field. Beasley best statistical season same in 2010-11 when playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves where he averaged a career high 19.2 points per game in 73 games; however, his production fell off dramatically since his best season.
While immensely talented, Beasley comes with a cost which is his baggage: Beasley violated the NBA drug policy numerous times during his time with the Miami Heat and was twice charged with marijuana possession in both Minnesota and Phoenix while playing for those respective teams.
Lakers training camp opens up in about 1 month and there are surely going to be a few more additions to the roster, some likely coming out of the group that was in yesterday for workouts.